Posts Tagged Cardinal Philippe Barbarin
The seven defendants, including another archbishop and a bishop, would face up to three years in prison and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine if found guilty of failing to report the priest’s crimes. The penalty would be increased to up to five years in prison and a 75,000-euro ($88,000) fine for those convicted of failing to assist a person in danger. (Associated Press)
A French court has set a date in early 2019 for the criminal trial of a French cardinal and a high-ranking Vatican prelate suspected of covering up a child sex abuse scandal in the eastern diocese of Lyon.
Victims of a priest who has confessed to preying on them have summoned Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, head of a powerful office in the Vatican, and five other Catholic Church officials to appear together in court for allegedly being informed of the priest’s past abuses and not reporting them to authorities.
A Lyon court on Wednesday set the trial to January 7-9. The lawsuit is the most prominent church sex abuse case to date in France.
Barbarin and some of the other defendants will also be tried for leaving the priest in contact with children until he retired in 2015, while knowing he had a history of sexual assaults.
The 67-year-old cardinal, one of the highest-ranking figures in the French Catholic Church, has admitted some “mistakes” in the management and nominations of certain priests but denied any attempt to cover up the case. Pope Francis has lent his support to Barbarin, saying he was a “brave” man.
By Philippe Sotto, Associated Press — Read more …
“Rarely have so few words cut so deeply into the hearts of so many.”
A miracle did not occur in Lourdes last week.
“Instead, on March 15, the French media descended on the pilgrimage site in southwestern France, which is hosting a conference of the country’s bishops. The journalists came to grill Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who, as bearer of the ancient title ‘primat des Gaules,’ is France’s most prominent Catholic cleric. As the cardinal of Lyon, France’s second largest city, he runs a diocese rocked by a series of sexual abuse scandals. (The diocese of Lyons is also the oldest Catholic institution in France, stretching back to the Gallo-Roman period.) With the cicada-like clatter of clicking cameras, Barbarin declared he had ‘never, never, never’ hid any act of pedophilia committed by his priests. Staring hard through his severe wire-rimmed glasses, Barbarin observed that none of these acts had happened under his watch. Besides, he noted, these crimes had passed the statute of limitations, so they could not be prosecuted.
‘Dieu merci,’ he added with a sigh.
Rarely have so few words cut so deeply into the hearts of so many. With what seemed greater concern over legal liabilities for the church than the emotional scars of the victims, Barbarin compounded his clergy’s sins of commission with a stunning sin of omission. The whole episode, since baptized the French ‘Spotlight,’ may well have consequences as seismic for the French church as the Boston case had for its American counterpart.
By Robert Zaretsky, The Week — Click here to read the rest of this story.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on a prominent cardinal to ‘assume his responsibilities’ amid widening allegations of a pedophilia cover-up targeting Lyon’s Roman Catholic diocese.
“In an interview with BFM TV on Tuesday (March 15), Valls refused to comment on whether Cardinal Philippe Barbarin should step down.
“The archbishop of Lyon, Barbarin has been accused of covering up alleged sexual abuse of young boy scouts by Lyon priest Bernard Preynat between 1986 and 1991 — before Barbarin was named cardinal.”
By Elizabeth Bryant, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.